Islam Bulldozes the Past

It is easy to find examples of the destruction of antiquities and relics at the hands of Islamic extremists: Bamiyan Buddhas, Mosul Museum Iraq, Mosul Public Library (8,000 books and manuscripts), Palmyra, Syria, etc. Countless.

This reminds me of how the Nazis and the Communists of the Soviet Union and Red China tried to erase existing cultures in areas they over-ran. But, I digress.

It’s no good pointing fingers at others when our own house is in such a shambles. You know: I should take care of the 2-by-4 in my eye before I dig around for the speck in yours (Matthew 7:3, Luke 6:42). Although we Americans don’t really have much of a past to destroy, what we have in common with the Muslim extremists is a lack of vision of the future.

Vision is not defined by running from anything. Running away is characterized by fear. Rather, vision is the act of moving toward something. So, while the Muslim extremists are hell-bent (no, it took no effort at all come up with that pun, it just rolled off my fingertips naturally, almost organic, you might say) to destroy everything that is older than today, they will soon find themselves in the position of sweeping their arms across a landscape of nothing. No doubt they think themselves better than nothing; but in fact we are all known by the company we keep, and so they will be known as, well, nothing.

Americans are not so different. In our past, we have the invasion of a continent (something we seemingly have never stopped doing) and slavery. Yet, what is the biggest topic these days? Nothing to do with Native Americans or African Americans. It’s as though we have bulldozed those issues under the currently fashionable “everything I am has to do with sex.”

In the movie, “The Bridges of Madison County,” Clint Eastwood asks Meryl Streep to describe her husband. She pauses, searching for an answer, and comes up with: “He’s clean.” Of course, this gets some mileage, and eventually Meryl is able to offer some other adjectives. But all we hear about these days in the media (“press” hardly fits in this internet age) is someone’s sexual preference.

I just read an article that talked about Obama’s administration and how diverse it was. The opening paragraph spoke about Obama’s nomination of an “openly gay man.” While the article does spill some ink on other non-white-male demographics (oh, wait: Eric Fanning looks white to me; apparently the “male” part is up for debate), it does focus on those who identify themselves strictly by sexual orientation. Well, what else do you know about Eric Fanning?

Another paragraph states: “…members of the LGBT community have also made similar advances under Obama: There are now hundreds of openly gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender appointees in the executive branch….” When I was growing up, there was only one minority, and that the one whose roots were in Africa. Now, Blacks hardly get a mention – even from a president who seems to have the same roots. Ironically, Blacks are hardly any better off under Obama than they were under Clinton (14.4% now, “just over one percentage point higher”).

Evidently, the “vision” of this country is not to actually make progress, but merely to ignore the past. Isn’t that what ISIS is doing? I will grant you that the white Europeans did their utmost to destroy the peoples and their cultures that existed for thousands of years, and “we” imported millions of Africans to die in the name of capitalism; but this country has been in a position to help others far less fortunate than us white males for some time. And what are we focused on? Trying to legitimize a life-style. More than that: impose a life-style on those who would rather not. Sounds like homosexuals are the new “white Europeans.” Manifest destiny all over again? Not to worry, they say, we have bulldozers, too.

We need intimate knowledge of the past. Nor that the past has any magic about it, but because we cannot study the future, and yet need something to set against the present.

C.S. Lewis


Islamic State Destruction Renews Debate Over Repatriation of Antiquities,

Antiquities Scholar: Islamic States Destruction of Museum & Library is Cultural & Ethnic Cleansing

Muslim clerics call for destruction of Egypt’s Great Pyramid and other antiquities

Raymond Ibrahim

Islamic State accelerates destruction of antiquities in Syria

Islamic State militants bulldoze ancient Nimrud city

Islam Bulldozes the Past

Waqf continues to destroy Jewish antiquities

Retired army general wants Egypt’s St. Catherine’s Monastery demolished

Obama has vastly changed the face of the federal bureaucracy


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